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Hack 1: Be Media (Internet Governance in a Nutshell)


Published 2005


10 Government Hacks — Slides From a Talk at OSCON 2006 [[ Hack 2 >>

This is a Movie about Internet Governance. Actually, "movie" implies a large number of people creating 120 minutes of full-motion video, so moviette or video blog might be more appropriate. And, there's no such thing as "Internet Governance," since by definition nobody can govern an Internet, so perhaps it is about the Internet and governance and other topics. Rather than further mangle the metaphor, here is a mix-minus version of my own personal inconvenient truth, an annotated set of presentation materials presented as "10 Government Hacks."

Hack 1 is "Be Media." Often, if you want to record audio or video or even just get in the door to some official function, you have to present your bona fides ahead of time. The trick to this hack is that they will always say no and you have to just keep asking until they realize you won't go away.

I've long had an interest in Internet [and] Governance, so when I heard the United Nations was throwing a big party called WSIS on the topic, I figured I'd go see how the pros did it. I'm not really a journalist, but I've played one on the Internet, so I got O'Reilly & Associates to name me their international tech reporter and applied for credentials. O'Reilly didn't make the cut as "bona fide media," so I reapplied as a stringer for the second-largest English-language newspaper in Bangkok.

I made it to Tunisia and covered the summit. It was not a pretty picture, as I reported for the Bangkok Post. A few months later, I was invited to give a talk on 10 ways to hack government at O'Reilly's OSCON conference, so I brought some footage of Tunisia with me to illustrate this hack, the moral of which was that they could easily have cancelled the whole summit and just given Nick the money to buy some laptops.


Run time 4' 41"
Producer Carl Malamud
Audio/Visual sound, color
Language English, French, Bureaucrat
Contact Information I can be reached as carlATmedia.org.


Credits

Support for this project was provided by the Center for American Progress, ISC, and Stichting NLnet.

Raw Footage:
Ira Magaziner | Paul V. Mockapetris | Tim O'Reilly | THE WORLD SUMMIT
Kofi and Nick | Global Bureaucrats | Smug Bureaucrats | Randy Bush
Steve Crocker | Negroponte Plenary | ITU HQ | Utsumi Plenary
The PrepCom | Kofi Annan | Wooden Boats | Pundits
The Internet of Things | Poster | Carl in Japan

Segments

This video was produced as a series of short 1024x768 video clips that were bundled inside of presentation software. The movie uploaded here on the Internet Archive is the concatenation of four of those video clips. For the 10 hacks, the highest resolution is always the biggest MP4 or "Quicktime" (which is actually H.264).

Reviews

Reviewer: malamud - - February 5, 2007
Subject: Re: Why pretending to "Be Media" isn't Being Media
"The Hacker does inadvertently demonstrate the difference between capital-M Media and a tech-savvy amateur"

Actually, der Nister got this one backwards. I was media. Real credentials, access to backstage, free drinks, etc... That was indeed the point.
Reviewer: Der Nister - - January 30, 2007
Subject: Why pretending to "Be Media" isn't Being Media
I watched the Hack 1 clip second after Hack 2. You need to watch more than one to understand the Hacker's shtick.

In this first clip, the Hacker sort of pretends to Be Media: "sort of" because, despite all the footage/audio he devotes to funning the bureaucrats, he does have a valid and important point to make about those bureaucracies and how they could (perhaps) achieve one of their goals by spending their bloviation budget on solutions rather than gab fests. (Isn't Negroponte's work excellent? http://web.media.mit.edu/~nicholas/)

The Hacker does inadvertently demonstrate the difference between capital-M Media and a tech-savvy amateur, the difference he seems to claim isn't significant. His story would have been more effectively told if he had concentrated on the important point per above and skipped the smarty-pants business about his quest for credentialing, this is, with some editing. In editorial terms, the Hacker buried the lede.
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